This paper offers a biographical work of Henry P. Silbor (1938-2010), a fine portrait of a Filipino Southern Baptist pastor. Silbor was one of the driving forces towards the “Filipinization” of the Southern Baptist denomination—both convention and seminary level—in the Philippines during the late twentieth century. Moreover, the paper explores the historical narratives of two Baptist groups that arrived in the Philippines—the American Baptist in 1900, and the Southern Baptist in 1948, which are both significant in the study. This exploration sets the backdrop for Silbor’s ministry. Towards Filipinization, Silbor advocated for Filipino leadership in the Luzon Convention of Southern Baptist Churches (LCSBC). Unfortuately, the missionaries turned over the leadership of convention, later including the seminaries, to the Filipinos then departed the Philippines. This transfer of leadership was not the ideal Filipinization for Silbor; preferably, he thought of working alongside the missionaries and not being left behind. To this challenge, Silbor called for serious pastoral equipping, church discipleship, sending missionaries, and theological training even during his last years.
Keywords: Philippine Baptist History; Filipino Southern Baptist; Baptist Filipinization; Southern Baptist in the Philippines
John Paul L. Arceno did his Master of Theology (Th.M.) in Theological and Historical Studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY (2020). He also graduated with a Master of Divinity (MDiv.) degree at Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary, Baguio City (2017). JP is currently serving as an interim pastor at Union Community Bible Church in New Jersey. He has published book chapters about the utopian philosophy of virtual reality and digital theology under Vernon Press, Delaware.
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